Aspiring attorneys must not only know the legal concepts that apply to their chosen field of practice, but they must have a solid understanding of their clients’ needs and goals. To expand our law students’ academic opportunities, Brooklyn Law School and Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment have teamed up to create an innovative open door policy. This unique program allows a limited number of Brooklyn Law School students per semester to attend courses at Pratt, and for Pratt graduate students to attend courses at BLS with no additional tuition cost associated with participation. Almost two dozen BLS students have participated so far, taking classes in city planning, sustainable communities, and land use.
This collaboration, which began this past academic year, provides students who have an interest in planning and the environment with new opportunities to explore the field at a first-rate institution in Brooklyn. Professor Lawrence Solan, who negotiated the arrangement with Pratt, could not be more pleased with the program’s enthusiastic beginning: “Not only have our students who have attended classes at Pratt benefitted from their deeper understanding of planning in urban environments, but our faculty and students alike have found it enriching to hear from Pratt’s planning students in our classrooms. The program has begun on a very successful note,” Solan remarked.
Students are indeed enthusiastic about their experiences: “At Pratt, my classmates had diverse professional backgrounds, but many shared similar social justice objectives, which was invigorating,” said Caryn B. Schreiber ’12. “It was an enriching experience, and it was helpful to learn how to apply some of the legal knowledge I have gained over the past two years to practical, real-world circumstances.”
The open door policy is the latest in a series of opportunities that students have to pursue their law degrees in coordination with related study at another institution. Brooklyn Law School continues to offer students the ability to pursue joint degrees from esteemed area graduate schools. Students can concurrently pursue their J.D. degree along with an MBA from Baruch, a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) from Hunter College, and a Master of Science (MS) in City and Regional Planning, or a Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) through Pratt Institute.